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Sunday, Bloody Sunday (Drivers)

I'm finding that I'm very much a 'weekday driver'. I have trouble blending into traffic on holidays, weekends, and most of all, Sundays.

I'm accustomed to commuting. I avoid the brunt of the workaday gridlock by going to work late and coming home late.

(I once suggested that going in late and coming back early might work out even better. They suggested that I might enjoy not coming in at all, in that case. I wholeheartedly agreed.

Then I figured out what they were getting at. And I thought I was the only smartass on the payroll.)

"During the week, it's a nuisance when we have to stop to let geese cross the roads. On the weekends, you'd think the geese were driving the damned cars."

Still, I'm out and about mostly between the hours of ten in the morning and nine or so in the evening, Monday through Friday. Those are the hours that people are driving, for the most part, to get somewhere. Moreover, they're piloting their cars to known destinations -- offices, schools, and the like -- and with established routes for getting there. The vehicles are driven with a purpose, as though the drivers have a goal in their heads

On Sundays, things are different. On Sundays, the vehicles are driven with abandon, as though the drivers have Alzheimers in their heads. They careen across three lanes to make an exit, they stop -- literally stop -- in traffic circles, and generally meander about as though they didn't have a care or appointment in the world.

During the week, it's a nuisance when we have to stop to let geese cross the roads. On the weekends, you'd think the geese were driving the damned cars. How you can afford to lease a Honda on a honker's salary is beyond me. But somehow, they seem to manage.

This Sunday is particularly tough, because of all the college kids returning to town for the school year. The parents and their minivans are particularly problematic obstacles, because they don't know the nuances of the local traffic flow, they're fully reliant on the sketchy Boston road signs, and their vehicles are huge, the better to stuff the kids and the books and the beanbag chairs into for the trip. I was stuck behind one of these beasts at a traffic light during an errand today; I was completely blocked out from the rest of the world. I couldn't see when the light turned green. I couldn't see if there were any pedestrians crossing. For a moment, I thought there'd been an unannounced solar eclipse. My car would have probably fit inside their glove compartment. Frightening.

Of course, the universi-tourists have one thing going for them. At least when they're driving as though they have no idea where the hell they're going, it's because they have no idea where the hell they're going. Unlike Old Man Rogers down the street puttering out for a Metamucil refill in his beat-up old Dodge. He gets to the end of the street, and can't remember which way the store is. Or why he was going, or where his house is, or how to get the car out of neutral again. And Boston's a big city -- how many Old Man Rogerses do you think there are lurking out there in the suburbs? It's a veritable motorized minefield.

That's why I stick to weekday driving as much as possible. It's a lot simpler. You know that half the people will be driving like hopped-up maniacs, and it's your job to get the hell out of their way. The other half think you're the bat out of hell, and they'll scoot out of your lane as soon as they have the chance. Weekend driving is far more unpredictable, what with the swerving and the honking and the indecision and the general state of higgledy-piggledy. It's enough to make a guy want to sell his car and take the bus.

But only on Sundays.

Permalink | Comments (1)



"what with the swerving and the honking and the indecision and the general state of higgledy-piggledy."

I *thought* I knew what this post was about until then...

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